Today’s Spotlight On features the fabulous Stacey Chapman of Art Sea Craft Sea. Her amazing embroideries caught my eye at The Handmade Fair so I’m delighted to share her talent here today.
Hello, tell us who you are?
Hello you lovely folk at the awesomeness of Crafternoon Cabaret Club! My name is Stacey Chapman and I am the person behind the hoops and wheels at Art Sea Craft Sea where I create freehand machine embroidered portraits of animals.
How did it all begin?
Once upon a time, I was carelessly watching Kirstie Allsopp being taught freehand machine embroidery by Lou Gardiner and logged the craft safely in my brain. A couple of years later my Mother got a rescue Chihuahua. I wanted to make her a Christmas present and through the dog would be a great subject matter to try this craft out on. I was in the midst of being incredibly average at an adult education course in dressmaking, so had a basic sewing machine. I am trained as an illustrator, so though I could utilise my painting and drawing skills with this medium. The results turned out surprisingly well and was taken aback when researching that nobody else was doing what I had just done. Ding dong! I had found the elusive hole in the market and the main product line of Art Sea Craft Sea was born.
What’s your favourite thing you’ve created?
Every embroidery I have created is a favourite in some way. When you spend so long visually immersed in every millimetre of a subjects being, you almost get to know them inside out and they creep into your heart. I refer to all of my subjects by name now, as do my family as they actually have become part of my family themselves. Each portrait teaches me something new and stretches me in a different way. Because I am self taught and have only been doing this for a relatively short time, my skill progression is, I think, visible in every artwork. This is because the density and breadth of colour palette of the stitches is ever increasing. I hope my perception of progression is indeed true, as if so, it means the growth is constant and therefore there will always be room for exciting development and improvement.
Any disasters or challenges?
My challenges are always mechanical these days. Having a machine go into meltdown when you are already behind schedule or close to a deadline is utterly stressful. I push my machines to their limits so this happens frequently. I am hoping my recent switch to an Irish Industrial embroidery machine will prevent the frequency of these toe curling moments! Before that, my challenges were all health related. Setting up the business was a huge step on my long road to recovery from M.E./C.F.S., after the best part of 7 years bed/sofa bound. But in retrospect, this health challenge have served me so well, as the sweetness of this amazing, creative journey is heightened no end, when you have effectively in living memory, been prevented from living at all. Every success and exciting development of the business now is just like another droplet of amazement from heaven and I am grateful to my core, as it could have so easily not happened.
Tell us your Top 5 inspirations
Mr X Stitch
Margate (my home town and burgeoning artistic hub)
How can we find you online?
Through my website at www.artseacraftsea.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ArtSeaCraftSea and on Twitter @artseacraftsea
Thanks Stacey! I’ve been really enjoying bring back the Spotlight On series – if you have any ideas for brilliant creatives i should interview next share your ideas below!